Tomato Crème Fraîche Pasta Sauce (and Dip, Sauce and Salad Dressing)

Years ago, around 1998, I made a spur of the moment dish that turned out to be a winner.  It came together on a Spring evening while hunting around for something to serve with dinner. It is amazing!

The sauce for this dish takes about 3 minutes to prepare and 3 minutes to make – less time than it takes to cook your pasta. It is a dish that has multiple uses and you will love it for its simplicity, clean fresh taste, and versatility. You can even make your own Crème Fraîche.

I rarely use the microwave except for defrosting items from the freezer. You too? Yet this dish is so non-fiddly if it is made in the microwave I am loathed to change the method. 1 dish only – no oil, no sauteing, no mess. We need more such dishes!

Similar recipes include Avocado Salsa, Green Tomato Salsa, and Salsa Verde.

Browse all of our Salsa recipes and all of our Tomato dishes. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Tomato Crème Fraîche Pasta Sauce (and Dip, Sauce and Salad Dressing)”

How to Make Quince Molasses

We now have a collection of molasses recipes that we cycle through year-round in our kitchen – pomegranate molasses, tamarind molasses, cumquat “molasses” and quince molasses. They are easy to make and divine with the sweet-sour flavours that can be used in spoon sweets, drizzled over sweet and savoury dishes, and mixed into dressings, soups, bakes and braises. They are essential accompaniments in our kitchen.

Here is the Quince Molasses we’ve been making for some time. It already appears on our Sister site, along with other quince recipes, but we are including it here too as part of our collection of molasses recipes.

Similar dishes include How to Use Quinces, Quince Molasses and Tahini Dip/Sweet, Turnips with Quince Molasses, and Quince Pickle.

Browse all of our Quince Molasses recipes, and our Molasses recipes (more to come). Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “How to Make Quince Molasses”

Sesame – Chilli – Soy Dipping Sauce (with my favourite Chinese Vegetable Dumplings)

I do love a good dipping sauce. Think – steamed vegetables, fried vegetables, dumplings, tofu, noodles, spring rolls, summer rolls, sizzling rice squares. The perfect sauce will lift your dish to new heights.

There are many varieties of dipping sauce, and the Japanese or Chinese style ones have their respective core set of ingredients. For Chinese it is soy, toasted sesame oil, Chinese vinegar perhaps, and some ginger and spring onions. Today’s dipping sauce is another variation on that theme. So very very good.

The sauce is perfect with these vegetable dumplings that I get from the Asian grocery in the freezer section – I put them in a flat pan with a little water and a little oil, and cover the pan. As the water simmers, the dumplings defrost and steam, and when the water evaporates they crisp on the bottom. Flip them over if you wish for a nice crispy top. They are also delicious steamed or even very gently microwaved.

Similar recipes include Soy and Sesame Dipping Sauce, Rice Squares in Dipping Sauce, and Chilli Soy Dipping Sauce.

Browse all of our Dipping Sauces and all of our Chinese recipes. Our Late Autumn dishes are here.

Continue reading “Sesame – Chilli – Soy Dipping Sauce (with my favourite Chinese Vegetable Dumplings)”

Hawaiian Chilli Water

Oh my, this has become my favourite drizzling sauce for this Winter – over soups, vegetables, into dals, on tofu and paneer, on rice, in sandwiches and sauces, with lentils and bean dishes — anything! I mix it into amazing dressings. It is a condiment or hot sauce that is very popular with Hawaiians and has a range of variations on the common base of chillies, garlic, vinegar, salt and water. As well as a condiment, it is also used as a drink to sip, and as a sauce. Many Hawaiian homes keep Chilli Water on their table, and guest will bring a bottle of their own home made Chilli Water to leave with the host.

Why does it work? We know that an acid or sour flavour – vinegar, lemon juice, bitters, tamarind etc – enlivens any dish. Chilli adds interest and heat. Salt brings out flavour. Garlic adds bite and deeper flavours. If you add bay leaf or soy sauce they provide grounded earthy flavours (umami). All of this in one bottle of sauce that is composed mostly of water!

Similar recipes include Grilled Pineapple with Chilli and Basil, A Collection of Chilli Pastes and Sauces, and Chilli Olive Orange Salad.

Browse our Chilli recipes and all of our Sauces. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Hawaiian Chilli Water”

Ginger Scallion Noodles

Oh those nights in the various China Towns of the world, eating noodles and congee and salt and pepper tofu, and wonderful silky eggplants. Simple dishes are tasty and elegant, in a way that sometimes we forget. Paring back to basics gives such good dishes.

For this dish you will need a basic Ginger Scallion Sauce (we call them Spring Onions, but it doesn’t sound as good). The sauce is useful in the kitchen and is one of my pastes, purees, powders, stocks and sauces that commonly grace my quiet kitchen bench. It is useful in so many ways – into soups and broths it goes, over rice with some deep fried tofu and shredded vegetables, drizzled onto bok choy with or without noodles, smeared on sandwiches.

Once you have the sauce, all you need for this recipe is some noodles and some veg. That’s it. And variations are endless. Make it as simple or as fussy as you like.

Similar recipes include Sesame-Chilli-Soy Dipping Sauce, Soba Noodles with Quick Pickled Mushrooms, Glass Noodles and Green Mango Salad.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes, our Dipping Sauces and all of our Asian recipes. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Ginger Scallion Noodles”

Algerian Eggplant Salad and Spread | Betanjal M’charmel

We love our pastes, purees, spreads, dips and powders, and the kitchen is always full of them. On a cold and rainy early Summer day, we wanted tea and snacks, so two spreads were created for the crusty bread from our Italian fruiterer, and life was good again. We no longer cared about the rain.

This spread (or side salad, mezze style), is made from sliced eggplant which has been baked until soft and mashed with spices. It is then gently fried until all moisture is lost, and served with harissa. Delicious! Sometimes it is referred to as a jam, rather than a salad or spread.

Similar dishes include Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Broad Bean Puree with Chilli Oil, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, and Green Olive Tapenade.

Browse all of our Spreads, Dips, Pastes and Purees. Our Salads are here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Algerian Eggplant Salad and Spread | Betanjal M’charmel”

Indian Carrot Salad | Kosumalli

Western style salads are not so common in India because Ayurveda, the underlying philosophy of lifestyle, health and wellbeing, recommends against eating raw ingredients. But there are some, and they are delicious. I have noticed that they are also becoming more common as the influence of the West is stronger than ever via the internet and increased travel.

I say Western style salad, because there are some Indian dishes that play the part of salads in a traditional Indian meal. Raita/Pachadi, for example. Indian chutneys. Sundals. Sprouted lentils.

Anyway, today’s salad is an Indian Salad somewhat after the Western style – grated vegetables topped with chilli and a spice tadka. There is nothing easier, and it is delicious.

You might like to read What is Kosumalli aka Koshambari.

Similar recipes include Cucumber Kosumalli, Indian Cucumber Salad, Indian Beetroot and Carrot Salad, and Onion Strings Pickled Salad.

Browse all of our Indian Salads, and all of our Indian recipes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Indian Carrot Salad | Kosumalli”

Turmeric Chickpea Hummus

Hummus is pretty common in everyone’s home and in many a Middle Eastern restaurant. We make it a lot, whizzing it up in the food processor in a matter of minutes. There are many variations on hummus, but we now have our favourite way of making it, so it is a no-fuss, no thinking dish that can be on the table in under 5 minutes (if you have cooked the chickpeas ahead of time – we keep bags of them in the freezer).

Recently I came across Turmeric Chickpeas – chickpeas that have been soaked and cooked with a lot of turmeric. You can read about our experiments with them here or jump straight to the recipe (you will need it for the hummus).

For this recipe we use Turmeric Chickpeas instead of plain, ordinary chickpeas. It is the same recipe as our usual hummus, just that we are adding this twist. BTW, if you are interested in reading about the different thoughts about how to make the best hummus, check our usual recipe. It also has some variations that you can incorporate.

You might like to read our Very Special Turmeric Recipes.

Similar dishes include Tray Baked Spicy Turmeric Chickpeas, Celeriac Hummus with Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Smashed Chickpeas with Dukkah and Brocolli, and Creamy Pearl Hummus Salad.

You might like to browse all of our Dips and all of our Chickpea recipes. Explore our Middle Eastern recipes. Or take some time and browse our Mid Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Turmeric Chickpea Hummus”

Green Tomato Fry Chutney

What I love about South Indian chutneys (as well as the taste) is that you can create a chutney out of any left over veggie in the fridge. Today it is green tomatoes – half a dozen that haven’t been used during the week. They are quickly sauteed until soft and then pureed with onion and chilli. Simple – in fact much simpler than many other similar chutneys. But – Delicious.

Eat with rice or with other Indian dishes, or use it as a great sandwich spread – layer sourdough bread with slices of red tomatoes, roasted eggplant, basil and feta. Divine. Try it with tortilla or corn chips too.

Similar dishes include Rajasthani Spiced Green Tomatoes, Orange and Green Chilli Relish, Green Tomato Sambar, Green Tomato Subzi, and Green Tomato Pachadi.

Browse all of our Indian Chutneys and our Green Tomato recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Green Tomato Fry Chutney”

Capsicum, Feta and Pistachio Spread and Dip

Feta cheese whips up into a smooth, creamy spread when blended with olive oil in the food processor. It’s a Greek thing, and the favourite way to flavour it in Greece is with garlic, mint and capsicums as a piquant dip for pita bread. A common variation on this is to combine it with capsicums, chilli and pistachios.

The beautiful dip and spread can be served in any number of ways. Serve with crudité or toasted baguette, warmed focaccia, toast, or flat bread. Place on a platter with veggie sticks and crackers. Serve it with radishes and cucumber spears for dipping. Lather it on grilled sweet corn and top with  fresh herbs and grated Mizithra cheese or grated haloumi. Drizzle dakos or friselle with tomato juice and a good olive oil and top with this dip.

Similar recipes include Olive, Pistachio and Pomegranate SaladYoghurt, Feta and Mustard Dip, Orange and Pecan Cream Cheese, and Burnt Spring Onion Dip.

Browse all of our Dips and Spreads, and all of our Feta dishes. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Capsicum, Feta and Pistachio Spread and Dip”